Nearly 300 animals removed from home, couple arrested | News
OLDSMAR, Florida - A woman who shared her home with close to 300 animals, which the SPCA took away Sunday, is reacting to the incident.
Joyce Kovacs said she is glad the animals are gone. They belonged to her daughter, Jennifer, and her daughter's boyfriend, Jeffrey O'Neil, who lived with Joyce. Jennifer Kovacs and O'Neil were arrested for child abuse and animal cruelty.
"I'm kind of devastated, you know. I guess I feel bad for Jennifer and Jeff that they're sitting in jail, and yet they brought this all on themselves," said Joyce.
Animals -- including snakes, lizards, and rats -- were taken from the home along the 200 block of Lee Street after deputies with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office responded to a call there about a missing infant.
Joyce said it was the couple's daughter, who a relative had come and taken away. According to deputies, a family member came to the house, saw the child was crying, but couldn't wake O'Neil. The relative left a note, which Jennifer and O'Neil didn't see.
That's when deputies saw all the animals being held in 88 cages. They described the home as being in "deplorable conditions." Some animals were even found dead and half eaten by others. According to deputies, they were being bred and sold without the proper licensing and conditions.
The SPCA Tampa Bay was called and they hauled all the animals away.
Joyce said her daughter and O'Neil sold some of the animals at flea markets or over the Internet, but the breeding got out of control. She added it's been that way for the past year. She said she told Jennifer and O'Neil they would have to leave the house soon, just recently. Joyce said she put up with it for so long for the sake of her granddaughter, because the couple had nowhere else to go.
All of the animals are in the care of the SPCA now. According to the organization, they will try to get the owners to sign the animals over to them. If not, the group will have to file for custody.
You May Also Like...
Faces of Meth: Before and After pictures
IPAD APP: Download the 10 News app for your iPad
Bikini Photos: 2012 Hooters International Swimsuit Pageant
Eye on You: Giant eyeball named "Weirdest story of 2012"
Simply Irresistible: Woman fired for being 'irresistible'
Sacrilicious: Jesus spotted on Texas man's tortilla
Pants on the Ground: City drops saggy pants ordinance
Sex Offender Search: Look up Florida Sex Offenders here
Lovely Angels: 2012 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show pictures
Really?!?: Dashcam catches man urinating on patrol car
Cheerleader sex: Former Ben-Gal pleads guilty to sex with teen
Not just a game? Man murdered for Magic: The Gathering cards
Yearbook mug shot: Teen who posed in racy yearbook photos busted for underage drinking
Bikinis, mud, trucks: The Redneck Yacht Club
Naughty Schoolgirls: Naughty schoolgirl night at Tampa club pictures
Outrageous mug shot galleries...
Notorious Women: Bad girls behind bars
Teachers: Teacher arrest mugshots
Celebrities: The rich and famous have their own booking photos
Jaw droppers: Open mouth mug shots
Laughers: What's so funny mug shots
Prostitutes: Prostitute mug shots
Athletes: Professional athlete mug shots
Porn arrests: Child porn arrest mug shots
Local Mugs: Hillsborough County Mug shots
More unusual mug shots and galleries: 10 News slideshows and galleries